“Of Aliens, Money and Politics: Should Foreign Political Donations Be Banned?”

Joo-Cheong Tham has posted this interesting draft on SSRN (forthcoming Kings Law Journal). A snippet:

Against premise 1), I argue that non-citizenship and the inability to vote are not sufficient grounds for exclusion from the political community. Against premise 2), I point to other bases for residents of a country being able to legitimately influence its political process (even when not members of its political community): human rights, in particular the rights of political expression and association, and being subject to the laws of the country. I also argue that the ‘foreignness’ of corporate political donations does not pose any additional danger to democracy unless the corporation is an agent for a foreign government. The article concludes that there is just cause for banning political donations from foreign governments and those being sourced from overseas, but any further measures in relation to ‘foreign’ political donations should be approached cautiously. Rather than focus on the ‘foreignness’ of the political donations, the article concludes that the underlying risks stem more from the ‘corporateness’ of these donations, pointing to general measures to deal with large political donations rather than specific regulation of ‘foreign’ political donations.


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